[MOVIE REVIEW]Extinction Can't Be Too Soon"Die Hard," "Back to the Future," "Home Alone" and "Jurassic Park": These Hollywood films all made big money, spawning several sequels that did not live up to the originals. The latest sequel, "Jurassic Park III," is scheduled for release Friday in Korea.
Joe Johnston, who made his name making mainstream special-effects bonanzas such as "Jumanji" and "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids," took the director's chair for the latest "Jurassic Park." Spielberg merely produced this film, dedicating his time instead to "A.I.: Artificial Intelligence," scheduled for release in Korea on Aug. 10.
Johnston tries to build on the previous Jurassic Park films, but also pursues different angles. He adds some new dinosaurs for this film, including the pterodactyl, which was considered too difficult technologically in the previous films. Except for the improvements in the special effects, however, the rest of "Jurassic Park III" has little to offer.
The latest sequel leads the audience back to Isla Sorna, where "Lost World" took place. The island is now a paradise for dinosaurs and a very dangerous place for human beings. One day, a boy goes missing on the island, so his parents try to lure Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), the only character left over from the original Jurassic Park, to guide them on the island. Grant is understandably wary, but the parents are rich and offer him funding for his research. Grant agrees to accompany them, only to discover before long that this was a very bad idea.
The cast, including Sam Neill of "The Piano" (1993) and Tea Leoni of "The Family Man" (2001), belongs in something other than such a mediocre offering. Their talents are mostly wasted, as the only acting they do involves repeatedly escaping from an endless onslaught of dinosaurs.
The special effects are remarkable. You can see the dinosaurs' muscles and flesh move more realistically than ever, making the primordial reptiles truly monstrous. But the magic does not last very long, a mere 87 minutes. Considering that "The Mummy Returns" was able to sustain the visual feast of spectacular computer graphics for more than two hours, "Jurassic Park III" seems rather anemic in comparison.
Spielberg's choice to concentrate on "A.I." instead of this clunker was wise, looking to the future rather than lingering on the past and the dinosaurs of the Mesozoic era.
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